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Aristotle - The Organon TOPICA Book 7 Part 4

The most handy of the commonplace arguments

1. The most handy of all the commonplace arguments are those just mentioned and those from co-ordinates and inflexions, and these therefore are those which it is most important to master and to have ready to hand: for they are the most useful on the greatest number of occasions. Of the rest, too, the most important are those of most general application: for these are the most effective, e.g. that you should examine the individual cases, and then look to see in the case of their various species whether the definition applies. For the species is synonymous with its individuals. This sort of inquiry is of service against those who assume the existence of Ideas, as has been said before. Moreover see if a man has used a term metaphorically, or predicated it of itself as though it were something different. So too if any other of the commonplace rules is of general application and effective, it should be employed.


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